There is a significant difference in the utilization of mammography for screening and diagnosis between women of lower socioeconomic groups and the rest of the female population. Information obtained by the American Cancer Society through public hearings in 1989 revealed significant problems in how the poor deal with cancer. Barriers to methods of early detection seemed to revolve around access, education, and cost. A recent study of breast health performed by the Wirthlin Group for the American Cancer Society showed similar barriers. All women, regardless of income, expressed the fear of finding breast cancer as one of the major barriers to having mammography. Although the poor and medically underserved group of women showed similar barriers to mammography, certain barriers seemed specific to ethnic group, age, and place of residence. Evaluation of these barriers to breast health will allow the development of specific programs to meet the needs of this population.